Published on April 16, 2019

It’s prime time to sell your house, and if you’re looking to make a few extra bucks, you may want to consider an eco-friendly update. According to a new Zillow report, homes with a solar energy system sold for an average 4.1 percent more than regular houses. With Earth Day and house-selling season coinciding, the findings seem particularly astute. Install solar panels and go green environmentally, as well as financially, given the apparent benefits for your wallet.

Per Zillow, the average percentage of profit varies by region—for example, solar energy–laden homes in New York averaged a 5.4 percent premium, while homes in LA only enjoy a 3.6 percent higher rate. Still, the findings show a clear positive correlation between a higher selling price and eco-friendly home features. According to Sarah Mikhitarian, Zillow’s senior economist, the reasoning for this is largely budget-related.

“Since utilities make up a good share of the monthly costs associated with owning a home and eco-friendly updates can help reduce those costs, it’s likely that many buyers will continue to show interest in homes with energy-efficient features,” she explains. “That’s especially true as weather patterns become more extreme.”

With companies like IKEA launching solar panels, it’s easier than ever to make these green updates. Though if you’re not sure about installing a solar energy system, not to worry—there are plenty of low-lift ways to make eco-friendly updates in your home. Keep reading for some of our go-tos, which will reduce your carbon footprint and save you money too.

Swap your light bulbs

According to the Department of Energy, residential LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than regular lighting. This is a super-easy sustainable swap you can implement in every room of your home simply by updating your existing bulbs. Feel free to take it a step further with a sleek LED light fixture for your desk or nightstand.

Cut down kitchen waste

Gone are the days where compost bins were bulky, industrial-looking things, relegated to the backyard. This year’s compost bins are compact and chic, fitting neatly into even the smallest of rental kitchens. Reduce your food waste in style through a bamboo bin with a built-in odor blocker.

Reuse jars

Instead of buying a whole slew of mason jars or portable containers to bring your lunch to work, look to what you already have. Upcycle old candles that have screw-on lids for pantry essentials. Dominique Drakeford, cofounder of SustainableBK, swears by rinsing and reusing old pasta or salsa jars. She even has a genius trick to protect your hands from the uninsulated hot glass: “Put rubber bands around a mason jar when you plan on using it for warm liquids,” she shares. “Repurposed jars are also great storage containers for dry cabinet food, refrigerator storage, and miscellaneous home supplies.”

See more ways to be eco-friendly:
Good News: You Already Have Everything You Need to Be More Sustainable
I Made a Conscious Effort to Be More Sustainable for a Week
15 Easy Swaps You Can Make Right Now for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

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